The tiny bridge has gone £8m over budget and 10 years in construction

A tiny bridge in the UK has been having its building works delayed, so much so that the build is taking ten times as long as that of one of the world’s most famous landmarks.

A new footbridge at a small railway at Theale station in Reading has, in fact, already taken ten times as long to build as the Empire State Building did. The building work is over 10 years overdue, with its budget shooting up to £9.5million.

The New York landmark took a year and 45 days to build. However, the Theale footbridge is slated to finally be finished this year.

The Princess of Wales’s local station, passengers have been frustrated with the snail pace of the bridge’s construction near Reading.

Work on the small pedestrian walkway on the line from London to Bristol was started by Network rail in January 2023 – but the upgrade was initially announced back in December 2011.

The original budget was set at £1.25million. However, this shot up to £9.5million when a new ticket office was built in 2014.

In total, it will have taken 13 years for the station to finally get its new footbridge – equivalent to the length of time it took to build Big Ben.

Sir Alok Sharma, Theale’s MP, previously blasted the nightmare as a “case study” in British bureaucracy and inefficiency.

He told the Telegraph:

“The redevelopment of Theale station is a classic case study in just how slowly even relatively small infrastructure projects are delivered in our country, with resultant cost increases having to be picked up by the taxpayer.

“We have to get much better at untangling the stifling bureaucracy and red tape in our system which holds back the time-efficient and cost-effective delivery of infrastructure.”

Source: Express

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